Monday, December 1, 2014

And so...I make wreaths...

I can't predict these things, sometimes the urge hits and I just have to go with it...

Early in November I put together this arrangement in answer to the "In a Vase on Monday" internet meme (and wrote about it over on the plant lust blog)...

This neighborhood tree, an Arbutus unedo, provided a key element of that creation and to be honest I was still quite smitten with those yellow and orange fruits.

So when I spotted a few simple wreath frames on a trip to Portland Nursery, well, I knew what I'd be doing next.

I started out by making small bundles and using thin wire wrapping the stems together.

Being careful to avoid including things like this. That's an element best left outdoors.

The dark strappy blades of Pennisetum purpureum ‘Vertigo’ are a little less dark than when they were included in the vase (bleached by frosty temperatures) but I still wanted to include them for texture.

The finished wreath...

I did this project on Sunday, November 23rd, hoping it would still look fresh on Thanksgiving and it did. In fact today, a full week + later it still looks good.

Only a couple of fruits have fallen, and in case you're wondering they are edible. Unedo translates to "I eat only one" and so far Lila hasn't been tempted to do even that.

When I went to forage for the arbutus branches I remembered this shrubby blob and stopped to cut a few of it's branches too.

Although I have to admit I'm not sure what it is. An ilex? An osmanthus? There were so few berries I wasn't able to get any of them.

And the small flowers mostly fell off while I was working with them.

The finished wreath needed something more so I tucked in some craspedia.

This one sits on a shelf in our bathroom.

There is one more wreath I plan to make, but haven't yet had time. It's inspired by this arrangement and includes black mondo grass...

And the blooms of the Fatsia japonica. This combination, rather austere and without color, seems perfect for the long, dark, month of January. I think I'll make it then.

But for now...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

37 comments:

  1. This is a stunner Loree ! I'm also glad I'm not the only vacant-lot/park /business park scavenger , 'borrowing' the foliage for floral creations.

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    1. I am very careful where I scavenge (as I'm sure you are) and try to always leave the plant looking better than before (careful, pruning cuts). Of course that's all just rationalization...

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  2. Dear dog, where does your talent end. That is gorgeous.

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  3. Lots of good ideas here... some leaves I never thought of using ... sorta related to yours ... toyon berries for strawberry tree, ivy flowers for fatsia, Burford holly without berries. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Love your substitutions! I hope you'll share what you come up with on your blog (especially since I finally thought to add it to my reader, duh! What took me so long).

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  4. Move over Martha! I'll be able to say, "I knew Loree back in the days.."

    Seriously, these look great. We have lots of arbutus in our neighborhood, and I've been tempted to make liqueur out of the fruit, like they do in Spain and Portugal: http://homedistiller.org/flavor/liqueurs/fruit_recipes.

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    1. Interesting, I wonder if it's any good? (since the fruit is reported to not be)

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  5. fabulous, simply fabulous! love love love. I would buy one from you if they were for sale....

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    1. Thanks Tamara! I'd love to make more but seeing that my source for materials isn't actually mine that would probably be wrong.

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  6. I didn't think I was a wreath person. I was wrong. These are gorgeous!!! I love the arbutus fruits, too, with their changing colors.

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    1. Glad to have played a part in changing your mind.

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  7. I'm holding out for the Agave wreath... ;)

    Very nice results! You've inspired me to work on something using the only evergreen plant I have access to that I wouldn't mind pruning...

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    1. Oh you know I've thought about that! I'd need more pups than I can easily get my hands on though.

      Look forward to seeing your results!

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  8. Your creativity never ends Loree, and now making wreaths too! Beautiful creation, traditional yet has an edge!

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  9. The holly like plant is indeed an Osmanthus. Osmanthus heterophyllus. Looks good in the wreath!

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    1. Thanks Sam! I was hoping someone would have the answer.

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  10. Thanks for showing us how you did it. Sadly, talent is not a tool that is evenly distributed in the population at large. You got a little more than your share, along with pretty good had-eye coordination...and out pops pulchritude like this.

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    1. Me thinks you're pretty well gifted in the talent department, and quite the vocabulary master too...

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  11. Beautiful! Wreaths seem to be "in" this year so you're right on trend - did you see the wreath featuring protea on Sunset magazine's cover? It never would have occurred to me to try adding Arbutus berries to a wreath but that's a great idea. Maybe the berries of A. 'Marina' are even worse tasting than those of A unedo - not even the squirrels will eat our berries.

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    1. I did just pick up that Sunset issue yesterday. I thought briefly about making the protea wreath but after a quick calculation as to the cost I realized that wasn't going to happen! Our massive gang of neighborhood squirrels leave the berries alone as well, as evidenced by the beautiful sea of red around the tree.

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  12. Love, love, love! Great job on those wreaths.

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  13. So talented! They look great. Can't wait to see what you do with the mondo grass and fatsia flowers.

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    1. Currently the fatsia is doing it's "I'm melting..." drama routine (due to the cold) and the flowers have all flopped over looking sad. The mondo grass however is edged in frost, quite beautiful. Wish they could stay like that for the wreath!

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  14. Your wreaths are both beautiful but your Thanksgiving wreath is breathtaking and that floral arrangement - Wow! Your talent for arranging things (flowers, pots, etc.) and your sense of style are an inspiration to me!

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  15. Oh, that wreath with the Arbutus unedo berries is fabulous for the holidays! Love it, well done. There's quite a bit of work involved in putting that together, it's not as easy as it looks.

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    1. It did take awhile, but it was nice work. Materials all spread out on the table and a glass of wine nearby. Can't go wrong!

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  16. Good lord, these are beautiful. Is there nothing you can't do?

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    1. This coming from the woman who almost single-handedly has rebuilt her home?

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  17. Fabulous! I´ve missed this week because I flew back to Spain for Christmas! I suppose you already know but If you eat too many Arbutus unedo fruits you can get drunk :)

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    1. So glad to hear you're home for a bit, and no, I didn't know that. Sounds like a yucky way to achieve a buzz...

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  18. That is dead-set gorgeous!

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